The frog who refused to jump in the pond

The comic where Basho meets a frog who refuses to jump in the pond is now available as a free e-book. Check it out and share it with your friends:

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When Basho needs inspiration to finish his haiku, he asks a frog to jump in the pond. But the frog just won’t do it. Will Basho be able to finish his Old Pond poem before sundown? Depends on the frog.

This hilarious story, created during 24 Hour Comics Day in 2010, was revised and is now available in e-book format thanks to a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts.

Some Basho Facebook status updates (by Michael Dylan Welch)

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In this Techno Tuesday column, I share a hilarious Facebook post by Michael Dylan Welch.

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On December 15, Michael Dylan Welch shared on his Facebook page this beautiful Japanese print created by Chet Phillips with the comment: “Basho really should upgrade to a flat-screen monitor, or maybe get a laptop or tablet.

Carmen Sterba pointed out: “Actually, the oddest thing is not the computer but the combination of a dragonfly and cherry blossoms in the same season.

Meanwhile Vladislav Vassiliev replied to Michael’s post: “He does have a laptop. Because they cut him off internet in his Bashoan he goes to the nearby Starbucks to update his Facebook status.”

The funniest thing is what Michael Dylan Welch wrote afterwards. Check this out:

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Some Basho Facebook updates:


Monday: Took a walk around the pond today to enjoy the spring sunshine. Heard a frog jump in. Thought I’d write a poem about it.

Tuesday: For so many centuries, poems about frogs have celebrated their croak, so writing about the sound of a frog jumping into the water seems pretty radical. Any of you homies think I should go for it anyway?

Wednesday: Got the last two lines down of my new poem: kawazu tobikomu / mizu no oto. But I’m stuck on my first line. Shoot me your suggestions if you’ve got any.

Thursday: Settled on furuike ya for my first line. Thanks, buddy, for the suggestion (you know who you are).

Friday: Decided against the frog legs for dinner.

Written by Michael Dylan Welch

Source: Michael Dylan Welch Facebook page.

Basho Frog Haiku (interactive zine)

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Old Pond Comics will have a table at Canzine in Vancouver, B.C. this Saturday November 8. 

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One of the items for sale will be this interactive flap book featuring translations of Basho’s poem “Old Pond / A frog jumps in / the sound of the water”  (from the website Matsuo Bashô: Frog Haiku (Thirty-one Translations and One Commentary). 

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You can turn the flaps and change each line, for endless possibilities.

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Check it out.

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Frog Haiku will be available for sale at Canzine this Saturday Nov. 8, as well as on my Old Pond Comics online store.

Unfinished haiku

Origami

Unable to figure out the last step of an origami, I sit there, frustrated.
I unfold the paper and start over. Soon, I’m blocked again.
I flatten the paper on the table. The creases mark the battle. I sit still, imagining the finished origami (a tato box).
So close, and yet unable to finish.
It’s frustrating. Just like an unfinished haiku.
Every once in a while you get a flash of genius, a haiku that simply comes to you, but by the time you write it down, you forget the last line or a word. And the haiku is unfinished, imperfect.
You know the answer, it was given to you a moment ago. Now, the missing word is this big gap in the middle of the poem, staring you in the face.
And, just like a used origami paper, the haiku cannot be reused or repaired. It can only be trashed or recycled.

Origami    ancient warriors’ dreams   wander    in the recycling bin  (JT)

(Inspired by

The summer’s grass!
all that’s left
of ancient warriors’ dreams.

and

Sick on my journey,
only my dreams will wander
these desolate moors

by Matsuo Basho)

PS Check out the comments below to see what this blog post would look like as a haibun (proposed by Angelee Deodhar) or poem (proposed by Michael Dylan Welch).